Thrifty Thursday/Frugal Friday

                                                             Our picnic lunch. 
Friday:  Up earlier than usual this morning.  I'd promised John a big breakfast since we had nothing to do until late afternoon.  While breakfast was started, I also started dinner for today and tomorrow.    I noted that a friend of mine had lined her crock pot with aluminum foil one day...I took her idea a step further.  I wanted to cook two entrees but I didn't want to mess up both of my crock pots.  Instead I used foil to shape two dishes inside the largest crock pot.  I put chuck roast and onions in one dish and two chicken breast in the other. Both meats cooked on low for the same amount of time.  The juices remained in each dish...I was very pleased with how this worked.

John has been mentioning Harvard beets for the past two pay periods.  When we were in Aldi on Wednesday he mentioned them again.  I can't buy Harvard beets, only plain, at Aldi.  However, my cookbook had a recipe for Harvard beets.  I might add that the lovely glass jars of Harvard beets at other grocery run around $1.59.  My can of beets cost me only $.59 and required no ingredients that were not already in my pantry.

I have recently begun making it my habit to label everything I put in the freezer.  I got so tired of wondering how long ago it had been since I put in this item or that or worse, wondering what a frozen item was that it seemed reasonable to  find a method of labeling.  I bought the labels in the office supply department of the store and they are so handy!  I bought them to label jars of bulk bought spices, but they work as well on a zippered freezer bag or plastic container.

I bought a bag of oranges and a grapefruit a few weeks ago.  We just weren't eating them.  I do like oranges and most certainly did not want to waste them.  I peeled and sectioned and then froze in two containers.  I can't imagine anything more refreshing on a hot summer day than frosty ambrosia.

We had a bit of leftover gravy.  It might seem odd to save that but the truth is, it makes a great addition to a meal of roast,  hamburgers or meatballs for a yummy entree or a good addition to soup or pot pie.  Just another bit of flavorful goodness.

Ran a full load of dishes in the dishwasher.

Before we went out for the afternoon/evening we turned the AC up so that it wouldn't run so much while we were gone.

Saturday:  John wanted to do something special today.  We thought we'd pack a picnic lunch. 

I like for a picnic lunch to be above average.  I didn't have anything special on hand but it's so easy to make a meal different with simple ingredients.  Making honey mustard to go on our sandwiches for instance: a bit of mayonnaise, a bit of honey, a bit of brown mustard.  I'd kept some of the oranges I cut up in the fridge yesterday and made a quick ambrosia.  Mama had given us half a poundcake last month when we had sweets a plenty in the house, so I froze it.  I cut thick slices of that.  I put water bottles, sandwiches, ambrosia in the freezer for an hour or so before we left home, then packed everything on ice.  It was a great picnic lunch.

Our destination was the air museum we'd tried to visit earlier and missed due to an unexpected car repair.  No problems today.  We saw every inch of the hangars and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.

We stopped in the town next over to fill up with gasoline on our way back home.  This
saved us nearly $.10/gallon over our hometown station.

Supper this evening consisted of leftovers from the fridge.

Ants have been pernicious this year on the front porch.  I have been picking up the pet's feed bowls even if empty and storing them in an air tight bucket. 

Sunday:  Chopped the jalapenos I bought and froze in an ice cube tray for later use. 

I made taco salad for my lunch.  I had frozen taco seasoned ground beef in the freezer and I thawed that.  Then I used avocado, tomato, shredded cheddar, black olives, a bit of diced jalapeno and some corn tortillas I'd cut into strips and fried crisp to make the salad. Yummy!\\

John worked an extra day today.

I had meant to make guacamole.  No chips.  No crackers.  Ripe avocados...I remember seeing on another blog where the lady froze portions of avocado for her baby in a vacuum sealed bag.  I thought I'd try freezing mine.  I did toss the sections with half a lime's worth of juice to prevent darkening since I didn't have the vacuum seal.

John had been lamenting the empty cookie jar. I had meant to make Molten Lava Cakes, but I made brownies instead.  It takes the same basic ingredients ( a little more flour and eggs) and stretches a lot further.

I had briefly contemplated 'doing something' since I was still smarting from my Flat Tire Friday but ultimately, looking at my schedule and my bank account...Well I opted for the day at home instead.  A savings anyway I choose to look at it.  I did watch my Netflix Dvd of Downton Abby.

Monday:  John and I didn't go anywhere today, so another day of saving gasoline.

Washed a full load of dishes and a full load of laundry.

I wanted to make a pretty journal, similar to one I'd seen on a blog I'd looked at the night before.  She used a sketch pad, but I found a Goodwill thrift store school composition book (the type with sewn in pages) that I'd purchased for $.50 in my supplies stash. It wasn't pretty, sort of sick purple and the cover had been written on in permanent marker. This lent itself very nicely to being recovered.  I was kinda of surprised how nicely it turned out.

My next inspiration was to put random verses from Psalms on various pages.  Then I gathered some pretty pictures from my picture stash (all culled from magazines and advertising folders) here and there throughout.  I've not finished with it yet, but I am pleased.  Who'd have thought that ugly notebook for $.50 would be so nice?

Rhonda gets tickled when I mention her in my blog.  Well she's a smart cookie that Homemaker!  A while back she had trouble with her dishwasher and they stopped using it.  Then she decided to just try it one day and it worked fine for quite a long while after.  We had a ceiling fan stop working one day back in winter.  I cut it off at the switch and we hadn't turned it on since.  The hot temperatures and the lack of a fan was really felt in the living room.  I hadn't realized how much cooler the ceiling fan made the area until we didn't have it running.
This week I decided to 'do a Rhonda' as I said to myself and turned it on at the switch, pulled the cord and lo and behold!  The thing works!  It's made all the difference in the world in how the room feels.

I've just got to mention the wise words I read on another Homemaker's blog...Dawn cleared out her pantry and did a complete inventory a couple of weeks ago.  She noted that
the items which needed to be tossed were convenience items.  I love what she said and I quote: "
I noticed everything I was tossing out was processed, convenience items.  That made me realize that I practically never throw out basic ingredients."  I was stunned for a moment after reading that.  She's right you know?  I sometimes have to toss convenience items but I generally run out of basic ingredients. I think my mantra "Can I make it myself?" will be written at the top of all my grocery lists from now on, just in case I forget and start to load up on boxed foods.

Tuesday:  I have a new haircut for summer.  I can't say I got the haircut I went in for but I do short hair, albeit shorter than I'd anticipated and I'm determined to make the best of it until it grows.  But in future, I'll go to an established salon with established stylists.  I'll willingly pay more for a better cut.  This is the last frontier for me of 'settling for' instead of looking to see where I could get the best possible haircut for a good price.  "Good enough" isn't when it means living with a haircut that isn't even near the photo you took in to show the stylist...If the saying is "You get what you pay for," I got just about value for my money and I'd rather have had MORE, even if it did mean spending more money .

We hurried home and bought chicken tenders at the local diner.  Their 'tenders' are not those tenderloin strips from the back of a breast.  These are actually flat cut portions of breast halves.  Typically two are more than sufficient for a serving of meat for us.  John bought just four today and we still had one leftover.

I used that leftover breast strip to make a Fried Chicken Salad for John's work lunch tomorrow.

Wednesday:  Knowing that Mama had planned an extended trip today, I decided to clean my house prior to leaving home.  I stripped bed and remade it, washed and dried sheets and since I was doing a load of laundry tossed in everything that was washable with the sheets. 

We visited that meat market where the meats are so well priced.  Mama mentioned the cost of a certain cut of steak.  I noted the meat market was about $5 a pound less for the same cut than the price of the premium grocery where Mama shops.  I decided to buy chicken wings and legs.  I've been craving BBQ wings for weeks now and these were about the same cost as the local grocery minus the nasty feathers here and there.  The legs will be marinated and roasted for a picnic lunch next week.

We didn't have to buy ice.  I'd saved the ice from my last two shopping trips (purchased at grocery) and packed insulated bags here at the house.  We had perfectly cold meats when we returned home.

I'd planned to buy Mama a mother's day gift and had several ideas but when she mentioned wishing she had a wind-chime in her yard, I thought I'd get her one.  She's never before mentioned wanting one and I thought she might like that best of all.  I spent no more than I would have on potted plants (my usual gift to her).

Dropped off the electric bill on my way through town.

We'd had a late lunch and I wasn't terribly hungry.  I heated a can of soup for my supper.

Thursday:  Washed a full load of laundry. 

Had to run a couple of errands today.  I should have done yesterday but I was so tired after our long trip out of town.  Just as well.  The pharmacy called and had filled John's prescriptions so I went over to the next town to pick them up, stopped in the grocery there.  I discovered their dog food is better priced than I pay at the local dollar store.

I was in a spendy mood, ready to fill planters and my wanting new things for my upcoming trip and new makeup and hair color. And I could name off a dozen grocery items I wanted besides the ones on my list.  Well in the end, I cut my list down to what I had to have (including make up and hair color).  I can't say I saved tons of money but everything I purchased was on sale.

And I'll get four colorings off the hair color.  I may not be the happiest I've ever been with my hair cut but I can at least keep the gray covered, lol.

I'd meant to bake today but couldn't with the chores and errands taking more time than I'd anticipated.   Fortunately I spied a Fundraiser bake sale for a church.  John loves doughnuts and that was what they were selling.  I didn't save money on that purchase either but I'll spend a bit more for a good cause.

Came home and  washed a load of towels.  I hung these on the line to dry, even though I knew they'd have to stay on the line overnight but I also knew the towels would be nice and soft after being dampened by the dew.

Friday:  Got up early this morning and colored my hair.  As I thought, half a box of hair color worked just fine.  I'll get four colorings for an average of $3 each.

I did a pedicure this morning too.  I splurged on new nail polish but it was just $1 for the bottle.  Now I have five new colors, all under $2 a bottle, enough to last me all year long.

Ran a full load of dishes.

I had  a call from John just as I was getting started on my day.  He was on his way home.  Seems he has a number of days to use up before the end of the fiscal year.  He cut grass.  I baked cookies, refilling the cookie jar.

I had just put two potatoes in the oven to bake, as well as those chicken wings I bought the other day when I thought I heard a car door shut.  I looked out the window and discovered my son's car.  I greeted him then skipped back indoors to add another potato to the oven.

When I made brownies Sunday, I made a bigger pan, cut in half and frozen half.  I was pleased to have brownies to give to Sam today. 

1 comment:

Rhonda said...

"Do a Rhonda? " it does me smile when it works and when you mention me.
Dawn is right about my pantry clean outs too -usually stale smacks or mixes that didn't tasted less than wonderful.

I wanted to get a haircut today but too many things going on here. So your "bad " cut makes me a little less disappointed. :)

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